photographer / tweeter Suki Zoe’s take on day 2 at the 2019 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival  #uwrf19

(lead photo: Yottam Ottolenghi)

Yottam Ottolenghi:
“Cooking is always in context. It’s never out of context. Who cooks and why, what time of the day.” 
“How is food not political? Everybody eats.  In the Middle East you cannot put something in your mouth without it being political – the same with Turkey and Greece. The Palestinian Israeli conflict is currently very real. In a conflict which is really alive, and people rely on food as a sign of identify. As a refugee food is all they’ve got.” 

Andreas Harsono during the session about his book Race, Islam, and Power.

Andreas Harsono:

“Transmigration caused drastic changes in democracy, it’s a murderous program”.

“50 years ago indigenous Papuans made up 92% of the population of (Indonesian) Papua, today 49%”

“The underlying issue in Papua is racism, against dark skin curly haired natives.”

“For journalists, when you walk through that door you leave behind your ethnicity, your religion, your sexual orientation…


Above: Laksmi Pamuntjak during the “Indonesians, Elsewhere” session. Below: Cynthia Dewi Oka

Cynthia Dewi Oka:

“The way you think about time has to change completely. To a sense of progress – linear time – future. In Indonesian it’s all in the present, the now. The rhythm and cadence is different.”

“I practice poetry as a path towards liberation.”

“We get expected to represent ALL of Indonesia because there are so few of us. I am a poet. I am from Indonesia. I do not say I am an Indonesian poet.” 

“Literature was part of the nation building project. Showing the national character to the world. I had to find kinship in other literary traditions. I had to find my literary ancestors from other communities.” 



“USA has little understanding of Indonesia. No one knows what ‘Indonesian’ means. For the American audience everything has to be explained. ”


Jenny Zhang:

“East Asian men lose their masculinity in America because they’re not seen as viable men. They lose their place in the pecking order.”

“My stories don’t belong to me personally, they belong to my community. “




Raymond Antrobus:

“People say the book is a lot about deafness, but for me it’s about communication. People who have trouble communicating due to dyslexia etc, are finding value in it.’




All photos copyright Suki Zoe.


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